The article is lazy and redundant. It contains no new information, nothing we haven’t heard or read before. The people he interviews – Teodoro Petkoff, Nicolás Maduro, Bill Richardson, Piedad Córdoba, Chávez himself – say little that is particularly interesting. Even the new bits he includes – such as his insider’s peek at Chávez’s plane, or his first-hand account of the Santo Domingo summit – manage to come across as only mildly interesting.
When a great writer with a ton of access and significant time on his hands can’t write a fresh, well-written article on someone like Hugo Chávez, I can only conclude that what Anderson saw was a tired revolution. It’s as if he couldn’t muster up enough inspiration, he couldn’t find an interesting angle to latch on to, and this can only mean that the revolution itself has stopped being interesting.
Like an old magician trying the same old tricks, the Fat Man in the Palace is out of magic, and the article reflects it.